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TSX climbs to record high as investors eye 'Santa Claus' rally

10/15/2021 | 04:37pm EST

(Adds investor quotes and details on activity, updates prices)

* TSX ends up 108.16 points, or 0.5%, at 20,928.10

* Index notches its biggest weekly advance since March

* U.S. crude oil futures settle 1.2% higher

* Financials gain 0.9%; industrials end 0.6% higher

TORONTO, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose on Friday to a record high as oil prices climbed and investors cheered the move into a seasonally strong period for the market

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended up 108.16 points, or 0.5%, at 20,928.10, eclipsing the record closing high it notched on Sept. 3.

For the week, it was up 2.5%, its biggest weekly advance since March.

"We are now entering the period that is very positive for equities and are probably going to see a Santa Clause rally between now and year end," said Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds, referring to the seasonal move that sometimes happens in stocks.

"The thing that is driving it right now are the recovery of oil and gas prices," Michael added.

U.S. crude oil futures settled 1.2% higher at $82.28 a barrel on forecasts of a supply deficit over the next few months, while the energy sector on the TSX touched its highest since May 2019, ending 0.2% higher.

Financials, which account for about 30% of the index's market value, gained 0.9% and industrials ended 0.6% higher.

After snapping a seven-month win streak in September, the Canadian equity index has gained 4.3% so far this month.

"It really feels like people got a little too bearish heading into earnings season and what we're seeing now is a bit of a short-covering rally in the market as first glimpses we've had of earnings have been okay," said Gregory Taylor, portfolio manager at Purpose Investments.

Big U.S. financial institutions reported strong earnings this week, setting a positive tone in markets after fears over surging commodity prices, supply chain issues and inflation dogged equities.

Gains on Friday were capped by a 0.9% slide in gold stocks as gold prices fell. (Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Amal S in Bengaluru Editing by Alistair Bell)

ę Reuters 2021
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